Contract Review - How do you prove it?


Andy Bassett

It is simple enough to understand what ISO 9000 element 3 'Contract Review' is trying to acheive; Dont acept or offer any contracts unless it is clear to all parties concerned what is required.

My problem is how do you set-up a procedure to prove that this is being done? I have just got through writing the relevant Quality Manual section that spouts the usual blurb about customer enquiries being carefully checked before an offer is made, and subsequent orders being checked against the offer before an order-confirmation is issued. etc etc.

But how can i prove that this is actually being done?. One obvious solution is to create a checklist that has columns to tick for the ISO requirements ie Have all relevant departments been consulted etc, but i am a little bit relucatant to introduce this peice of bureacracy unless i beleive it can really help.

Can anyone help or share there experience in this area?


Andy B

Laura M

The development of the quote itself can document the specifics. One company I worked with....rather than a checklist, just developed a standard Sales Quotation form. It could cover the ISO requirements, plus anything the company typically includes(payment terms, etc) They even included things like the MQ requirements (they're a T/E shop) and other aspects of QS not just specifically the Contract Review section. Being a T/E shop, they didn't have to worry about subsequent order volume...they did one-offs, but maybe a variation. Worked for them, not sure on your application.

[This message has been edited by Laura M (edited 14 January 2000).]

Andy Bassett

'Use the quote form', excellent idea, then i dont have to introduce another peice of paper.

Thanks for the help

Andy B

John Humphries

I used a one page "cover" form that stated that the tender/purchase order/contract had been reviewed in accordance with our Section 4.3 contract review procedure. The form also incorporated several information sections like end user names and phone numbers that don't usually appear on PO's and other items that Inside Sales always wanted to go with each PO (to give IS something back for filling out the form). Finally, get the order reviewer/taker to sign the form. Then let the auditor try to prove that the signatory did not review the order properly. Good training of and compliance by your reviewers is required.


Alan Cotterell

I think what you do to prove that contract review has occurred is a minor consideration. I think the intent is to get organisations to define their customer's needs before commencing work.
In an organisation which handles work as individual projects, the 'task list' set up in the project management software, can be used as an Inspection and Test Plan, to verify that all the required work has been performed. Signing off the ITP proves that the contracted work has been performed to the appropriate specification. A customer signature on the form gives evidence in support of a 'claim for payment'.
If you are QS-there is a feasibility review required. You need to take a look at 4.2 and tie it in with your contract review. APQP and Contract Review go hand in hand. Good Luck.


Captain Nice
Staff member
Originally posted by Dawn:
If you are QS-there is a feasibility review required. You need to take a look at 4.2 and tie it in with your contract review. APQP and Contract Review go hand in hand. Good Luck.
Another way to think of it is as one element of your quality planning process.

Russ Jackson

Starting to get Involved
I gather that what you are asking is, "what is suitable objective evidence that we have done contract review?" You will want to ensure that the quality manual and lower level procedures define what you do, and that someone does what you say. Do you need to record the individual actions or use a checklist?...only if it is important information that you must have fully documented for your own needs. Audit the process by interviewing the persons who should be performing the contract review functions; their verbal information is objective evidence for intermediate funtions. If verbal matches procedure you don't necessarily need a hardcopy record of what has transpired throughout the process. Identify in your contract review procedure what constitutes the quality record in your process; i.e., approval and acknowledgement of the order by the Planning Dept. comprise the record of Contract Review. Or the release of the order to manufacturing via the XYZ computer program is the record of contract review. In some large companies information, including customer orders, is handled via mainframe software such as SAP; the record of contract review is the forward processing in the system. Of course, FDA requirements and QS-9000 may have more specific requirements that would necessitate keeping more detailed records. If you don't have computerized systems, the acknowledgement to the customer can be identifed as record of having completed contract review.

Andy Bassett

Hello to Russ Jackson

Many thanks for your input. I am however a little surprised that simply moving onto the next step in the process could be evidence to an auditor that the activity has taken place.

I actually hope you are right, because i think this would remove the need to document a lot of things throughout the ISO Elements.

I think your example was that sending out the quote could be evidence that the contract has been reviewed. Do you really think this would satsify an auditor.

Andy B

Tom Goetzinger

A lot depends on what you are selling and what your procedures say. Our business varies from major complex custom equipment to service parts. The contract review process is a lot more demanding on the equipment then it is on the service parts.
IMHO - The standard merely indicates that you need to show evidence that you have reviewed the order to ensure that you know what was ordered and that you can deliver it as required; if your procedure indicates that by entering the order into your system, that confirms that it has been reviewed, AND you do not have complaints of failing to supply what the customer ordered, I suspect that the auditor would accept it.

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